PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brazi Bites, pioneer of Latin-inspired, better-for-you, naturally gluten-free foods, today announced La Porteña Foods as the winner of its first Latino Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (LEAP). Selected based on the brand’s powerful story, delicious product, and inspiring founder, La Porteña receives a $10,000 business grant and a 12-week mentorship with Brazi Bites Co-Founder and CMO, Junea Rocha, alongside access to resources across the Brazi Bites team, including sales, marketing, operations, finance, e-commerce and more.
Born out of a family recipe with Argentinian roots, La Porteña is a Portland-based, Latino-owned business that crafts locally sourced, high-quality, small-batch chimichurri. Founded by a second-generation Argentine immigrant, Jessica Viciconte, the company is committed to growing a diverse food system, supporting farmers, and building strong communities. La Porteña is elevating chimichurri, introducing the colorful flavors of South America as a way to honor and celebrate Argentinian culture.
“It is a huge honor to be chosen as the inaugural winner of LEAP. As a fellow Portland-based company, I’m very familiar with Brazi Bites and find Junea’s story incredibly inspiring,” said Jessica Viciconte, founder and CEO of La Porteña. “Starting this company through the pandemic has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences, and I feel proud of what I have accomplished so far. With this prize and mentorship, I can take the next step to grow my business and introduce this incredible product to more consumers in the Northwest and beyond.”
In addition to La Porteña, five finalists have been chosen for their outstanding CPG business models and products, including:
- Vamigas – a green, fragrance-free, botanical and superfood beauty brand created by Latinas who are on a mission to reclaim the cultural identities of Latin American ingredients.
- Hot Mama Salsa – creator of hand-produced fresh salsas, hot sauces, Mexican style chili oils, and tortilla chips using traditional ethnic cooking methods, whole peppers, and fresh local ingredients.
- Rif Care – a first-of-its-kind women’s wellness company focused on Gen Z hormone health by making the first period care out of hemp fiber.
- Ice Queen – a Chicana and Native owned company that makes vegan paletas, recreating childhood memories at the paleteria and introducing the community to the concept of paletas.
- I Eat My Greens – creator of clean, whole veggie soups that use flavorful herbs to create unique, mouthwatering flavors never seen in the market.
“During this first year launching LEAP, our team has been blown away by the incredible applications we received from entrepreneurs nationwide,” said Junea Rocha, Co-Founder and CMO of Brazi Bites. “Our entire team came together to thoughtfully read through each and every application, and sample products, giving us the chance to take part in the process as a collective. We are thrilled with our chosen winner and finalists, and I look forward to sharing my expertise and supporting La Porteña over the coming months.”
LEAP launched September 15, 2022, during Latin Heritage Month and received nearly 100 applications from Latino-owned businesses across the U.S. While the number of Hispanic-owned businesses continues to increase, many still find it challenging to raise the appropriate funding to launch and grow their businesses. As a Latino entrepreneur who founded one of the fastest growing brands in the frozen food aisle, Rocha created LEAP as a way to uplift minority leaders with her deep understanding of the unique challenges entrepreneurs face and the obstacles of building a business from the ground up.
To read further about LEAP and the winners, please visit www.brazibites.com/leap-2022-winners/. To learn more about La Porteña, please visit www.laportenapdx.com. To view Brazi Bites’ products and to read Rocha’s story, please visit www.brazibites.com. Brazi Bites products, including Brazilian Cheese Bread, Pizza Bites, Empanadas and Breakfast Sandwiches, are available at more than 17,000 natural, conventional and club stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Target, Costco, Wegmans, Publix, Kroger, Albertsons and more, as well as online at www.brazibites.com and Amazon.
About Brazi Bites:
Brazi Bites is revolutionizing the way consumers think about the freezer aisle with its delicious Latin-inspired, better-for-you, and naturally gluten-free foods. The company was born in the kitchen of husband-and-wife duo Junea Rocha and Cameron MacMullin in 2010 to bring the Brazilian household staple Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) to the U.S. market. In a few short years, Brazi Bites grew into a nationally distributed brand with a passionate following after appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank. Today, Brazi Bites has multiple product lines including Cheese Bread, Pizza Bites, Empanadas and Breakfast Sandwiches with distribution in 17,000+ stores across natural, conventional and club channels. For more information about Brazi Bites, visit www.brazibites.com, or follow the company on Instagram (@Brazi_Bites) and Facebook (@BraziBites).
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- Source: https://mmpconnect.com/brazi-bites-announces-la-portena-foods-as-first-latino-entrepreneur-accelerator-program-winner-alongside-five-finalists/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brazi-bites-announces-la-portena-foods-as-first-latino-entrepreneur-accelerator-program-winner-alongside-five-finalists